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CD reviews

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Wanderlust

(EBGBs)

Well, I bet she looked good on the dancefloor… Of course, even before reasserting herself into the public consciousness through last season's Strictly Come Dancing, Sophie Ellis-Bextor was no stranger to making moves under the disco lights.

After the demise of Britpop band theaudience, she popped up as vocalist on Spiller's global smash Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) then set her own solo career in motion with the posh-vocal hit Murder On The Dancefloor.

Subsequently she became a bit more electro-pop but a Studio 54 swoop of disco strings was never too far away.

For her post-Strictly release, however, she has spurned the multiple producer approach of recent albums in favour of an unexpectedly bold indie move: securing the talents of Ed Harcourt for the recording desk.

His influence is all over the piano-led songwriting and eccentric structures too.

Opening track Birth Of An Empire takes dramatically gothic twists and turns, while there's a cooler Euro fashion to the harpsichord whirls and sexy vocal shapes of Until The Stars Collide (a song that might suit Charlotte Gainsbourg).

Indeed, this reinvention of Ellis-Bextor as a melancholy indie-noir chanteuse continues across the album, although at times, as on Interlude, it plays safe with 1960s nostalgia (a song that might suit Adele).

Alan Morrison

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